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BIS Collaborates on CBDC Tests with Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa

Singapore, on behalf of the Bank for International Settlements, is a world leader in the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for international payments (BIS).

It was recently announced that the BIS has collaborated with the central banks of Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa to examine the feasibility of creating an international payments platform that would be accessible from anywhere in the world. This initiative, known as Project Dunbar, aims to lower the processing expenses of financial institutions while also speeding up cross-border payment processing.

Head of the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore, Andrew McCormack says:

“Project Dunbar brings together central banks that have taken part in CBDC projects, as well as partners that are well on their way to establishing digital currencies,” says the organization’s website.

As a bonus, by cooperating with local government authorities on the creation of technological prototypes, this initiative seeks to take advantage of public-private partnerships.

The government announced the formation of a worldwide CBDC only a few days after the Malaysian government issued a list of fifteen participants in the “Worldwide CBDC Challenge.” In addition, the country conducted a five-year Effort Ubin study project on the subject.

Sopnendu Mohanty, the then-deputy governor of the MAS, made the following observation:

A substantial contribution to the worldwide goal of payment modernization and expediency is made by Project Dunbar’s efforts to develop a multi-CBDC solution that enables smooth cross-currency fund transfers across a variety of platforms.

Singapore is the first central bank in the world that is dedicated to the use of distributed ledger technology in payments. However, as a result of recent national efforts to construct CBDCs, such as those conducted by China, this issue has received greater attention in recent years.

Michele Bullock, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Assistant Governor (Financial System), said the following:

“Cross-border payments have been raised to a high priority status by both the international regulatory community and the United States government.”

A feasibility study on the viability of a wholesale CBDC was conducted by the Reserve Bank of Australia, despite prior misgivings. The establishment of a retail CBDC in Australia may be a long shot, even if Australian officials are leery of investing in unregistered businesses.

Malaysia is the second country in the world to hold this viewpoint. It has begun investigating the potential benefits of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), with the first focus on wholesale CBDCs, according to Malaysia’s central bank. As stated in the statement, the government is attempting to “increase public-private partnership to promote quick and seamless cross-border payments.”

While Singapore and Hong Kong continue to push the frontiers of digital banking, South Africa is considering the use of digital currencies for both retail and wholesale purposes. A feasibility study for retail payments at the wholesale level is now being conducted on a domestic level by the company.

Generally speaking, the BIS initiative is claiming to assist the G20 agenda stated this year through cross-border payment agreements with countries like China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, among others. While the agency has advocated for greater collaboration on a worldwide scale, it has also called for greater engagement from the government as well.

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